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The United States government has established a website to help spread awareness of how to be safe and secure online. That website address is: http://www.onguardonline.gov You will find many helpful resources on avoiding scams and securing your computer and other internet-related safeguards.
Debit cards are a great way to pay for your purchases online and in stores. Here are some ways you can safeguard against debit card fraud:
- Do not keep your card and your PIN together; if possible, memorize your PIN and do not write it down.
- Keep your card within your sight at all times. It is very easy for a fraudster to swipe your card in his or her own card reader, gaining all the information contained in the magnetic strip.
- When shopping online, use a credit card if possible. Your debit card is linked directly to your checking account—if it is compromised, your funds are directly affected. Disputes are much easier with a credit card, and your money has not been stolen. If you are looking for a credit card, Southern Bancorp does offer that service! Learn more at Southern Bancorp Credit Card Services.
- If you swipe your card at an ATM or self serve kiosk, make sure there is not a skimming device placed on the machine. Skimming devices may look out of place, or be loosely connected to the functional part of the payment machine. These devices are fairly sophisticated, and will allow your transaction to process, but save your information for the skimmer to pick up later. If you are in doubt, try moving the card reader—if there is a skimmer attached, it may come off with very little force. For more information, visit this US Secret Service document: Skimming Fraud
- When using your debit card at an ATM, self serve kiosk, or even when paying a merchant, take a look around the area to see if there could be a tiny camera hidden anywhere nearby to record the PIN number you enter. If you believe there could be, place some object between you and the suspected camera location as you enter your PIN.
- Southern Bancorp continuously monitors its debit cards for possible fraud, so we may call you to verify whether you conducted certain transactions. If we do contact you, we will not ask for any personal or confidential information; we will only ask if you attempted the transactions that appeared to be fraudulent.
ACH & Electronic Transactions
Many merchants today will accept ACH (automated clearing house) and electronic transactions to pay bills and conduct business online. This is different than using a debit or credit card online, as you are giving that merchant your bank account number, usually alongside other confidential information. It is important to verify the integrity of the merchant involved by reading the End-User License Agreement (EULA) and understanding how that company will protect your information, and if they will contact you in case of a security breach. As a consumer, you are also protected from unauthorized electronic transactions under the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) Regulation E. Business accounts are not covered under Regulation E.
Identity Theft is a growing area of concern in the digital age. We take your identity protection very seriously, but there are some steps required on your end as well. Check your accounts often for any unauthorized or fraudulent activity, and check your credit report at least annually. You are entitled to a free credit report; you can request that at AnnualCreditReport.com. If you notice any discrepancy or have any other questions, you can contact us or visit these government-sponsored websites:
- Arkansas Attorney General ID Theft - http://gotyourbackarkansas.org/identity
- Mississippi Attorney General ID Theft – http://www.ago.state.ms.us/victims/identity-theft/
Additionally, be very careful when giving out personal or account information. For instance, if the bank contacts you, we will never ask for your full name, account number, or social security number; however, if you contact the bank, we may ask a few verification questions to ensure that we are talking to the correct person.
Keep your physical address, mailing address, email address, and all telephone numbers up to date in the bank’s records. Always remember to contact the bank directly when your physical or mailing address has changed; giving an address change notice to the Post Office is not sufficient notice for the bank. This is very important when the bank needs to contact you for any reason, such as possible debit card fraud or other important notices. It is also important that you open and read any mail you receive from the bank.
In today’s society, technology is being used to make life easier; unfortunately, this also leads to more chances for fraudsters to maliciously use your information. We have safeguards in place to protect your information, but there are steps you can take to minimize any risk:
- Never give out your username or password to anyone. This includes saving your login credentials to your browser or PC, as this often leads to hacking as well.
- Use a complex password. Currently, our online banking requires 8 characters with at least one number. We recommend using a password that has both upper and lower case letters, as well as numbers or symbols ( ! @ # $ etc.).
- Update your PC software and Anti-Virus/Malware protection regularly. Many attacks come from exploits in your operating system, browser, or other programs on your computer—by updating these regularly, you will minimize the risk of someone gaining unauthorized access to your information. If you do not have an anti-virus program on your computer, Microsoft has compiled a list of reputable vendors: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/antivirus-partners/windows-7.aspx
Internet Banking – Commercial Customers
We recommend commercial (business) customers perform a periodic Risk Assessments to evaluate technology risks and mitigation controls. In the risk assessment, you should analyze virus and malware vulnerabilities, software update procedures, PC administrative access, employee education in regards to scams and phishing techniques, physical security of devices with sensitive information, and other technology risks. Mitigation controls could include, but are not limited to, anti-virus and anti-malware software, firewall protections, automatic updating of vulnerable software (including Operating System), employee education, and user access restrictions. If you need advice on safeguarding your systems, you can contact the bank and ask for the Information Security department.
Social media is a growing part of our lives, and is something to consider regarding banking security. Any information submitted to the site, including private messages, should be considered public information. Be careful not to post pictures that may contain personal information, such as personalized checks or debit cards.
Mobile banking has become a part of everyday life for many people, offering convenience and functionality in the palm of your hand. Southern Bancorp mobile banking is secure, but it is important to protect your phone against viruses and malware by using appropriate anti-virus apps, and never installing apps from untrusted sources. In addition, avoid “Jailbreaking” or “Rooting” your phone, as this will allow rogue apps and malware easier access to your device. Finally, password protect your device (on boot up or unlock) to prevent unauthorized access.
Calls, Emails, and Texts
When the bank needs to contact you, we will call, mail, or send a secure message via online banking. If we need to call you, we will never ask for your account information. Additionally, we will never send unsecured emails or texts asking for account information. If you are contacted by an entity claiming to be Southern Bancorp or our affiliate and asked to verify private information, be very cautious. “Phishing” is a common tactic used by fraudsters that involves impersonating a bank employee to try to gain information from a customer for fraudulent use. If in doubt, do not give any information and call the bank directly, either your local branch or our customer service number: 1-800-789-3428
Currently, we have an opt-in service that allows us to text customers their End of Day balance and daily transactions. Any other texts received can be considered fraudulent and should be deleted immediately.
Customer Service: 1-800-789-3428
Mailing Address: Southern Bancorp
605 Main St.
Arkadelphia, AR 71923
Full location list: https://banksouthern.com/locations/